Scholarships and Aid

We understand that financial issues can impact directly on your studies; therefore, financial planning is an important part of assuring academic success at University.  We can provide you with the information and support that you need.


Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

When you apply for admission to NSCAD by the Fall deadline of March 1 for Foundation applicants and Feb 1 for Advanced Standing applicants, you are automatically considered for Entrance Scholarships. The current range of individual entrance scholarships is $500 to $6000 and some awards are renewable for each of four years of study, making our top award approximately $25000! After each year of study at NSCAD, more scholarships will be available for application by qualified students.

The university awards about $100,000 annually to students, with more than 90 internal scholarships and bursaries available per academic year. External funding can also top $100,000 per year, with outside scholarships such as the Harrison McCain Scholarship in memory of Marion McCain and other financial aid options.

NSCAD University offers a number of internally offered scholarships to current students.  Most internally offered scholarships require at least one full time semester of study before qualifying for an application.  Applications are available online or in the Office of Student Experience at the beginning of the Fall and Winter semesters. Awards are automatically credited to a student's tuition and fees account in the following semester. (Fall awards are put on accounts in the Winter semester and Winter awards are applied to accounts in the Fall semester.) 

NSCAD's Travel Subsidy Program provides financial assistance for travel related to courses or academics for individuals and for class trips. Applications are available during the first month of each semester for travel within the same semester. Our Travel Subsidy Committee approves applications for about $12,000 per year for individual and class study trips.

In addition to scholarships and awards, many students also receive student loans, direct grants and work bursaries.


Master of Fine Arts Awards and Scholarships

Each MFA student accepted into the Program is awarded a minimum of $13,000 in fellowships and assistantships to offset the costs of their Program.

Firstly, each student is awarded a $3000 MFA Fellowship ($750 paid each semester for the four semesters of full-time continuous enrolment in which the student remains in good standing).

In addition, MFA applicants will be automatically reviewed, as part of the admissions process, for the following additional competetive scholarships:

  • The Robert Pope Foundation Scholarship for entering Fine and Media Arts graduate students. $1500
  • The Roloff Beny Foundation Scholarship for entering Fine and Media Arts graduate students, with a concentration in Photography. $6000
  • The Starfish Awards Fund Scholarship for entering Fine and Media Arts, or Craft graduate students. $2000
  • The Joan Catherine DeWolfe Graduate Fellowship for entering Canadian Fine and Media Arts, or Craft graduate students. $2000

MFA program applicants may also apply for ​NSERC/SSHRC – Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (check with Christina Warren in the Office of Student Experience regarding deadlines and process). For NSERC/SSHRC scholarship application information click here

During a student's continued enrolment in the Master of Design and Master of Fine Arts Programs, they are eligible to apply for additional NSCAD non-entrance graduate scholarships and awards by posted fall and/or winter deadlines. 

Full information and application forms for scholarships, bursaries, travel assistance and emergency loans can be obtained in the Office of Student Experience, Christina Warren who is the Manager of Financial Aid administers these programs. 


Master of Fine Arts Teaching / Research Assistantship Stipends

In addition to the fellowship, each Master of Fine Arts student is awarded a $2,500 teaching assistantship per semester for four semesters in full-time residence in the Program, totalling $10,000 over the duration of the program. Teaching Assistants work an average of ten hours per week.

On occasion, a Research Assistantship (RA) may be awarded, in addition to the regular teaching / research assistantships, to all NSCAD MFA students. Here are some current Research Opportunities on campus:

The Drawing Lab
The Drawing Lab, located at NSCAD’s Academy Campus, is a SSHRC-funded collaboration between researchers at NSCAD and Dalhousie Universities. The research being conducted at The Drawing Lab seeks to determine whether the notion of the 'good eye' is more than a metaphor. The methodology employed involves quantifying, mapping and comparing patterns of eye-movement in subjects who are drawing directly from observation.

Beginning in August 2015, The Drawing Lab will employ 1 to 2 MFA students as Research Assistants for roughly 5 to 10 hours per week, based on their interests, abilities and other time commitments. Rate of pay is anticipated to begin at $18.00/hour. Research Assistantships may involve testing and/or tutoring in drawing.

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, contact Mathew Reichertz and/or Bryan Maycock.


Other Master of Fine Arts Financial Assistance

Travel Assistance Funds may be applied for to support individual and group trips related to research or professional activities. Please note that applications for assistance must be submitted in September for the Fall semester, and in January for the Winter semester. The Travel Subsidy Review Committee assesses applications.

MFA students are eligible to apply for Emergency Loans and Materials Grants through the Office of Student Experience.